What Happens If 9-1-1 Gets Hacked? Military Specialists and Cybersecurity Experts Share Insights & Precautions

Cyber security experts speaking at MACo’s Summer Conference provide insight for counties seeking to protect key government systems and assets.

Attendees in a standing-room-only session at MACo’s Summer Conference heard updates from national experts, an international private sector cybersecurity assessment vendor, and the Maryland military on cyber security threats facing county governments.

Maryland Senator Ed Reilly moderated the session, leading a discussion focused on the meaning of these threats to key services, like 9-1-1 Call Centers, and on the top priorities for securing government systems.

“What I want to know, is what happens when a 9-1-1 Call Center is hacked – and what we can do the prevent it,” –Maryland Senator Ed Reilly

all hands on deck
At the MACo Summer Conference Session, “All Hands on Deck: Cybersecurity for County Governments” attendees view the Maryland Military’s demonstration of a cyber hack of 9-1-1 Call Center.

Ryan Spelman of the Center for Internet Security shared the many ways that cyber hackers can threaten governments, including ransomware attacks that lock out users from critical infrastructure, or wire money to foreign accounts until detected.

TJ Roe, VP Sales North America for RADIFLOW, described the first step for counties seeking to protect their infrastructure as a complete assessment of their assets. Radiflow is an Israeli company that develops cybersecurity protection for water treatment, power suppliers, and building automation systems.

“To know what you don’t know is true knowledge.” –TJ Roe, VP Sales North America for RADIFLOW, quoting Confucius

Dan Molina, Commander, 275th Operations Support Squadron, MD Air National Guard, shared how Maryland’s military is uniquely positioned for national cyber security leadership given the number of people with training and expertise in cyber operations in our State.

Colin Patrick, Branch Chief, Information Systems, Maryland Defense Force focused on the need for personnel with education on cyber threats in appropriate positions throughout government.

“Put the right staff in the right place.” –Colin Patrick, Branch Chief, Information Systems, Maryland Defense Force.

Patrick and Molina work together on cybersecurity threat models as part of a partnership within Maryland’s military. The MACo session ended with a demonstration of their 9-1-1 Call Center model, which will be on display at the MACo Conference through Friday.